Given that the federal deficit totaled nearly $2.8 trillion in fiscal year 2021, healthcare must be part of the solution in reducing that debt.
“I think it’s mathematically inevitable that if we don’t make the long-term financial investments to support cost effectiveness of health, efforts to reduce healthcare spending will happen to healthcare organizations, rather than organizations being at the center of this work,” Fifer said. “Why shouldn’t healthcare finance professionals lead these efforts?”
Market forces also dictate that the move toward CEoH must become a strategic priority for health systems. Consider that Walmart is not only expanding its healthcare footprint in underserved communities, but also collaborating with health systems to combat food insecurity, which puts individuals at increased risk for adverse health outcomes.
Healthcare disruptors like One Medical, Oak Street Health, ChenMed and Village MD are attracting patients in primary care, an area that presents strong opportunities to reduce healthcare costs through better access to care and care management. These disruptors have captured millions in private equity dollars from investors who are keen to make money by moving the needle on health costs.
Meanwhile, payer-provider partnerships between health plans and large systems are rising in some markets, driven by a desire to strengthen access to care, quality of care and cost management.
In this environment, healthcare leaders who delay making bold moves toward achieving CEoH could put their future at risk, experts say. “The longer you wait, the longer it's going to take,” said Zeev Neuwirth, MD, chief clinical executive for care transformation and strategic services, Atrium Health. “And the question is, where is that going to put you in the market at that point in time?” Neuwirth is also the author of Reframing Healthcare: A Roadmap for Creating Disruptive Change.